Ascension Parish officials locate meth-making fugitive, make multiple arrests

Friday, March 8, 2013 - 6:00pm

Five arrests have been made in case involving a meth lab explosion in Ascension Parish.

On March 6, Narcotics Detectives were actively searching for Ryan Espinoza for active narcotics warrants relating to the February 21 explosion of a methamphetamine lab located at the Twin Lakes Trailer Park in Geismar.

During the search, Narcotics Detectives received information that both Jason Powell and Stephanie Powell had been assisting Ryan Espinoza avoid authorities. They were placed under arrest.

On March 7, officials located Ryan Espinoza at a home in the 43200 block od Moody Dixon Road in Prairieville.

Narcotics Detectives arrived at the location and learned that a Robert Shawn Grosse and Emmitt Mercer had also been assisting Ryan Espinoza elude authorities. While on the scene, Narcotics Detectives located marijuana, methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia at the residence.

Ryan Espinoza, Robert Shawn Grosse, and Emmitt Mercer were placed under arrest.

Espinoza was also charged with an active warrant for cruelty to juveniles. This warrant was issued after the owner of the residence (in Twin Lakes Trailer Park) where the methamphetamine lab explosion occurred on February 21 hired a private company to clean and test the residence for contamination from the methamphetamine lab; at the time of the explosion no children were present in the residence but a child does reside there.

Stephanie Powell, 45, Jason Powell, 39, and Emmitt Mercer, 30, were charged with Accessory After the Fact to Creation of a Clandestine Lab.

Robert Shawn Grosse, 25, was charged with Accessory After the Fact to Creation of a Clandestine Lab, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Methamphetamine.

Ryan Espinoza, 31, was charged with Creation of a Clandestine Lab, Simple Arson, two counts of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Methamphetamine, Cruelty to Juveniles, three counts of Failure to Appear in Court, Simple Criminal Damage to Property, and Possession With Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine.

This case is still under investigation and more arrests may follow.


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